A comprehensive analysis of judicial responses to negligence cases in the elementary school

2005 2005

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Abstract (summary)

The education literature analyzed for this study warned of the likelihood of a plaintiff naming a teacher, administrator, or school district representative as a defendant in a negligence lawsuit. The literature in the field of law explained the elements of negligence, the available defenses, and provided a framework to structure the study. The researcher analyzed cases surrounding negligence in elementary schools in an attempt to answer the research question.

The following research question guided this study: When are teachers, administrators, school district representatives, and school districts sued successfully for negligence? The researcher examined a broad spectrum of negligence cases and incorporated every case in the national reporting system related to negligence in the elementary school setting. The cases incorporated in this study included injuries that occurred both during the school day and directly before or after school.

By using legal methodology, the researcher identified 167 cases related to the research question. Critical examination of each case provided a full understanding of the judicial responses related to negligence in the elementary school. Furthermore, the researcher created a data analysis form used to capture identical information from each case to assess relationships among the cases. Although the study did not use any form of statistical analysis, the researcher gathered quantifiable data for describing the cases collectively.

The most significant finding in this study was that a comprehensive analysis of reported cases yielded only 167 cases over the last thirty-four years. Teachers, administrators, school district representatives, and school districts prevailed in ninety of the 167 cases. Judicial responses focused on the element of breach of duty more than any other element. One hundred eight of the cases focused on breach of duty. The researcher classified the plaintiff as a student in 159 cases. Plaintiffs named the school system as defendants in 156 cases. One hundred fifty-three of the cases occurred in public elementary schools. Eighty-eight percent of the injuries occurred during non-instructional activities.

Indexing (details)

School administration;
Labor relations
0514: School administration
0398: Law
0629: Labor relations
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Education; Breach of duty; Elementary school; Judicial; Negligence cases; Proximate cause; Tort
A comprehensive analysis of judicial responses to negligence cases in the elementary school
Smith, Tina M. Chitwood
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 66/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780542094903, 0542094908
Strope, John, Jr.
University of Louisville
University location
United States -- Kentucky
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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